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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Sorry Not Sorry #647

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On the Regular Version …

Apologies are a part of every life and relationship. But what about the times when we think we’re apologizing but we’re really not?

We listen into a recent mastermind group call where the guys are talking about saying I’m sorry and addressing the hurt.

On the Xtended Version …

We unpack the first segment a little more, then jump into the steps towards a genuine apology and repair in relationships. 

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Corey Allan: So to start off the show, I'm curious what you think of this phrase, Pam. This is on the idea between competence and character. So competence is how good you are when there is something to gain.

Corey Allan: Character is defined by how good you are when there is nothing to gain.

Pam Allan: Off the top of my head, that's a pretty fair assessment,

Corey Allan: Right? This from Mark Manson

Pam Allan: When nobody's looking

Corey Allan: Right. This is from Mark Manson. He sends out a weekly email, and this was in one of his quick little statements. He makes that just to kind of get a reaction and a frame things. And so he is talking about people reward you for competence, but people actually love you only for your character

Pam Allan: Valid.

Corey Allan: I think there's a lot of truth.

Pam Allan: I love that thought process, which

Corey Allan: I think it aligns real well with what we try to do here with the show and the idea of what's being exposed in us, how is the best in us standing up? That's where we're heading today in this whole concept of an apology and remorse and forgiveness and reconciliation, all the different concepts that come along with

Pam Allan: Relationship

Corey Allan: Dynamics as they play out. But if you're new to the show, welcome, where what we're trying to do is enhance marriages across the globe by helping people within those marriages just be better
To grow up, to address things better, to see things better. And that's what we try to do is just frame actions and conversations that you can take. And so today's episode is exactly that of looking at this whole concept of an apology, but we also have a lot of other ways that we help people with this. One is directly through the show, which you can call us at seven oh two nine five six five or And that's ask your question, bring up a topic, give us your comments, your feedback, your criticisms rate, and review the show. Also what we like for the nation to do to help us out. But another way we do this is we have the passionately married academy

Pam Allan: That's

Corey Allan: Been going on that gets you extended content of every episode, all of the last couple of weeks we've been in the giving mood, so everybody's had the full show. But one of the things I've just started this week as we're recording this just a couple days ago, I released a video course on healthy marriages. And these are like six, seven minute long, 10 minute long videos,

Pam Allan: Nuggets

Corey Allan: Going through concepts and dynamics that we all face. And so the first lesson is out and it's in the academy only. That's the only way you get it, is you have to be in the full level of the academy. And when you go to the page on our platform that my dot passionately, you can request to get access to this video and there'll be more coming in the weeks to come because what I have found how I work the best is when I put something out there and say it's going to be done, then all of a sudden now I've got a different level of accountability. I got to make sure,

Pam Allan: Yeah, there's a deadline. It's not, oh, I think I'm going to do this

Corey Allan: Because then I'll have really good dedicated people that are in the academy saying, dude, where is it? It's been three months since lesson one was released. What's going on? And so now all of a sudden there's little more fire to get that done. So that's all available. You can go to passionately if you want to join and you're not yet a member. If you are a member of the academy, then you already got an email about this jump on the platform. I'll get you access to this course and there'll be more coming. There's going to be a whole series that I've got in mind that I'm going to just start helping people frame and address common everyday issues that happen in life and in marriage. So coming up on today's show in the regular version, one of the ways I thought of this on the popular titling of this with today's culture is, sorry, not sorry,

Pam Allan: Because

Corey Allan: That's been a popular song that's out there, but it's also just the art of the apology. And another way to look at it is the sophisticated art of the non-apology.

Pam Allan: Okay?

Corey Allan: Because I think we can get pretty complex if we start looking at how are we really trying to address the wrongs that happen in marriage? Because I think there's a component of us that addresses things without really apologizing, but it looks like we, are

Pam Allan: We wanting to get credit for apologizing when we didn't do it?

Corey Allan: Well, you need to pay attention to today's episode and to get more about this. And then on the extended content today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, slash academy. This is a deeper dive into what are the steps of a genuine, real heartfelt apology that are driven from what we talk about in the regular version. So all that's coming up. So the way we want to frame this is first we're going to talk just a little bit about what's the concepts of an apology, because I think it's something we all recognize is important in a relationship. And it doesn't matter which kind of a relationship it,

Pam Allan: You're talking spousal parent, friend, coworker, whatever,

Corey Allan: Neighbor,

Pam Allan: Neighbor,

Corey Allan: All of these things, because there's a component of what's the status of our relationship, what's the condition, what's the quality? And an apology is one of the ways we repair things. But the other thing I want to do is with permission from one of my mastermind groups, I've got a segment of our conversation that took place. I've taken out names, but it's a recording of one of our recent calls that we do twice every two weeks or so, what a normal mastermind rhythm runs. And we got into this subject. That's what made me think about this is something that needs to be on a larger scale. And so we're going to listen to it, have a conversation with me and these fellas on just walking through the dynamics that I'm trying to get across in this episode. And so this is the first time you've heard it, Pam, just like the audience, it'll be the first time they've heard it.

Pam Allan: So I'm taking notes,

Corey Allan: But also pause us as we need because this is one of those that I think it helps frame exactly what we're trying to get across and how this really does play out in our life and how sometimes I'm really not accomplishing what I may think I'm accomplishing. And so before we dive into that recording, when we look at the idea of an apology, when you think of that, what does this even mean? What's the main components of an apology or why we should do it?

Pam Allan: Well, for an apology to need to be given, I got to think that there's something that at least one spouse feels like they've been wronged somehow.

Corey Allan: Correct. I would agree.

Pam Allan: And the other, if it's a genuine apology, the other spouse recognizes that there was a wrong that happened. And I think of an apology as a way to own up to recognize my part in whatever happened. Maybe it's a way to grow a little more intimate because I'm owning up to something.

Corey Allan: Agreed. I think all of that's fantastic because I think that's all actual components that we're trying to recognize. But I think what I really want to go with further is when you're talking about a long-term committed relationship, one thing to have an apology that happens in a relationship that's not as deep, but there was an egregious incident between you. There was something that was intentionally or you know what? It just totally slipped my mind. I forgot. I apologize, and I repair the relationship in the doing of my apology. But when you think about a relationship that's got some longevity to it, what do you do with the offenses that have happened years or decades ago that still rear their head? At least the ramifications of them can still rear its head.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Triggers come up and frustrate me again.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Because we don't, what do you mean? What do you do with it though?

Pam Allan: And

Corey Allan: Part of this is because the reason I wanted to dive into this topic was because some of the things that happen in our past, obviously if they're still repeating themselves, that's a different issue. I'm habitually not a man of my word, and I'm late and I forget things, but I keep pawning off. I'm so sorry. But it keeps happening and then causing impact on the situation of our relationship or our present. But then there's also the components of something that's happened way in the past, like my betrayal

Pam Allan: Way

Corey Allan: Two decades over two decades ago. The fallout of that can still rear its head, even though the incident was still way back two decades ago. There's no repeating of that pattern

Pam Allan: Currently

Corey Allan: In our situation, in my situation, but it can seem like, oh, here we go again, because I got to apologize again. I got to deal with this again. And I think there's a difference of how we need to approach those two different things,

Pam Allan: The two different things being when it first happened, and then the fall, the triggers that bring stuff to the surface. Again, I

Corey Allan: Think that's one component. And then the other component is the habitual, the repeating behaviors. If there's something in the present that I still need to address, then I need to keep addressing it. But if it's something from the past that I don't know if I need to keep addressing it the same way, I do need to acknowledge it because there is a hurt associated with it, but I may not need to apologize for it, is what I want to try to get across.

Pam Allan: Wow. I would hate to be the spouse that has to keep apologizing for something when I've changed my behaviors. That just feels pretty oppressive.

Corey Allan: Well, it can, but I think this goes back to one of the shows we've done way in. I don't remember how long ago this was, but it's the idea of we all respond or react from our pain or our hurt in our fear.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: So when I am addressing, when something comes back up from something from our past, that's where it's coming from. It's our fear, it's our hurt, it's our pain. And that feels all too current and real because it is. And so this gets into the deeper elements of how do I delineate the difference between a feeling and an emotion versus the objective, wait, is this going on now? Is this offense happening now? And I've got to separate those two out, and that's hard to do.

Pam Allan: It is.

Corey Allan: Which that's where the idea of differentiating and growing up comes into play. I still acknowledge the feeling. I just don't make it as paramount as maybe I would want to because it's not necessarily coming from the best in me in that moment. But this is a segment to kind of set up what we're about to hear. This is a segment of where we're talking about this same concept, and this is one of the men in the mastermind, and there'll be several voices that are going to jump into this conversation throughout the course of this recording, which is about 10 minutes long. And so if there's something that you need backstory for the sake of the audience, send me a signal so that we can unpack it.

Pam Allan: Because

Corey Allan: I'm not going to give away confidences of the details behind the story, but I can frame it a little bit because what we've already talked about to help set this up, helps recognize the difference between am I dealing with what's going on currently or are we dealing with what's going on in the past? Okay.

Speaker 3: Various things regarding money that have always not gone so well, or maybe on my part, maybe I'm hesitant to communicate them or hesitant to be as direct as I need to be about money. And then sometimes it's got translated into, well, you think I'm a spend thrift that I'm really not. And so just the whole background about that has been not good. So we were discussing some things about retirement and when who would retire and we do a pension or we would do social security, all those kind of decisions, it brought all, I thought we were on the right track. We were talking about it, but then all of a sudden this thing came up from the past, these feelings basically saying, well, you've never really shared, and I don't ask anymore because you make me feel like any issue we have is all my fault or I'm doing the wrong thing.
And so it felt like, I'd say the improvement in our relationship the last couple of years has been, we've more or less in turn have kind of gone, not necessarily gone back, but kind of revisited those things and put them on the right track. But it still seems like those old things, even if I think they're done, come back and I say, I can't remember exactly what I said or if I did this to create this feeling or to make you feel like you're the problem with our money and and I said, all I can do is going forward and now, and it's like I just say, I don't remember. It was so long ago, but if I made you feel that way, I'm sorry. So I kind of apologized and I don't want to apologize just to apologize, but it's not like I want to say you're imagining things, but it's more like if I was unaware, I'm sorry, kind of thing.

Corey Allan: What's interesting in this is I think this is a great capturing of what is all too common in our relationships, because we've said this before in the past, we don't fight about things. We fight about the meanings attached to those things and the narratives and the stories therein. And so it is so interesting because what he's talking about here is the idea of what we all can do of, yeah, I was slighted way back and it was actually true, and one person doesn't remember it near the other does, and it doesn't mean that neither one existed. It just means I've still got stuff that needs to be fleshed out,

Pam Allan: And it's perfectly valid to say, I'm sorry if I hurt you back then this is where we are today, and I want to walk alongside you.

Speaker 4: It's that fine line between, I don't want to just say, oh, yeah, I'm wrong, but it's like if that's how it really landed with you, then I want to apologize for that and try not to let things like that happen again.

Speaker 5: I guess the question I would ask is when this comes up, obviously, so it's something that at least from what I'm hearing from your perspective, it's something that you felt y'all worked through and is kind of resolved. So if it comes back up and she has an issue with it again, is it really your issue or is it her issue that you worked through?

Speaker 4: I guess

Speaker 5: How I get in my frame, Corey's pointed it out many times, is that I get to a point where I had to say, okay, I recognize, oops, I've gone, there's the line here where, okay, this is me, this is you. And then I would cross that line and it's like, no, I'll own my piece of it and be there for her. Don't, do

Speaker 4: You really feel that the conversation that she's wrestling with now has already been settled in the past and she's bringing up something that you thought was resolved? Because one of the things Corey has helped us through with some stuff is if the issue's been settled and you're going to bring it back up again, this is your issue now. This is not an US issue.

Speaker 5: And that's exactly where I was going. I agree with you. Completely

Corey Allan: Curious what you think of that.

Pam Allan: Yeah, I think that's perfectly valid. But I think you realize from the spouse point of view, each of them probably has things that maybe they worked on and they came to some sort of resolution and the trigger comes up.

Corey Allan: Well, and there's also the element that is very, very likely of each of them had things that they worked on, but now there's new information, there's new iterations in my own evolving to where I'm looking at the same thing again through different lenses, which will elicit that trigger, which will elicit that pain. Because now I'm trying to figure out what's my culpability in it, but also where's my wronged? Where's my hurt still?

Pam Allan: Right. Well, I love these guys are wrestling through this together and realizing, okay, this isn't a US issue. She's got the spouse has some sort of meaning attached to it, and then how do I react with that? Right?

Corey Allan: This is where it gets dicey.

Pam Allan: Well, it gets dicey, but if I realize that what this is and I can step back and not escalate it, I can walk alongside and I can collaborate with my partner,

Corey Allan: Which is the ultimate goal. Because all too often what happens is when you're dealing with something from the past, and I don't think we bring this up if I'm remembering correctly, so I'll bring it up. Here is the person that did the apology, that did the amends, and I recognize my part in this, and then it comes back up repeatedly in the future. A lot of times, all too often we get into this, when are you going to let this go? When's enough enough on How much more can I, there's just that constant thing that can happen

Pam Allan: And that gets taken the wrong way from the other side. Try avoid,

Corey Allan: But not dismiss because there's still a process going on here. Yeah.

Corey Allan: Tell me more about that. What does that idea of if an issue is settled and you bring it back up, it's your issue? Not that, I guess it didn't go over well the first few times we did it, but if I have, I'll use an example of I've apologized for something and she has accepted my apology for that issue. If you want to bring that up in a later fight, no, I apologize. You accepted my apology. Or you told me you accepted my apology and now you want to bring it back up. You're trying to dig at something that was forgiven or settled or whatever. Now you're doing it just to be combative. Okay. So here's the caveat to it though. That's worth noting. It's the idea of if you've had this disagreement of something was gone that went wrong, there was something I was in the wrong, if there's things that her view of you back then was like, that's wow, I didn't realize I came across that way. That's on me. I, I'll own that. And then it's like, oh, okay, I agree. Thank you. Now we're good. When it comes back up to me the goal, then I need to apologize for something I've already owned. Instead, the goal is now we're talking about the hurt of what went down. Now we're talking about something else. So my apology doesn't matter on that. I can't apologize for the fact that you're still hurt from that.

Pam Allan: So using the phrase, my apology doesn't matter.

Corey Allan: I could have chosen better words, I think here.

Pam Allan: Okay, okay.

Corey Allan: But because it doesn't carry the weight we think it would carry, because I'm trying to apologize for something I've already addressed and I've already shown a difference in because of, because if I've recognized I've done something wrong

Pam Allan: And

Corey Allan: I own it, and I'll say this here in just a little bit, I believe too that then there is this element of, oh, okay, I see that I hadn't seen that in me before.

Pam Allan: Now

Corey Allan: I've got to adjust myself accordingly and address that and do better and let it be seen that I'm doing better. And it's not just for the sake of your eyes, it's for the sake of mine too,

Pam Allan: Right? Living from integrity. Right?

Corey Allan: Right. And so there's this element that's the character thing we open the show with. So there's this element of me apologizing for something. I don't know if it accomplishes trying to address the hurt. It keeps a power dynamic that's not as good as we might think it could be, because ultimately what needs to be played out here is each party handle their side of the equation and the impacts of what's gone on. And then what I'm doing with that now, this is where we can, and I'm not saying this happens in this conversation, but I know I've done it. I can weaponize my hurt and use it as a power move to get back at you.

Pam Allan: Oh, gosh. Yeah. Or

Corey Allan: To take a higher plane, high ground stance from a victim standpoint.

Pam Allan: Yeah. That's not good quality, right?

Corey Allan: No, it's not. But this is the way we just make sure, Hey, I want you to know how much you hurt me. You owe me.

Pam Allan: Yeah,

Corey Allan: That doesn't solve it. Instead, how do we work through the hurt associated with it? Because it's theirs to work through. So are

Speaker 5: You saying that it's something of more walking alongside them

Corey Allan: As part of the journey? Yeah. So when I had the betrayal and owned it, I owned it right off the bat, but I had to own a couple different layers of it just once I started coming to grips with rap. Okay. And I truly own that. I still vividly remember this coming home five years later, Pam, in a really down bad mood and looking at me in direct quote, I can't believe you did that. My instinct reaction was, I'm so sorry that I did that, but I'd already done that. I'd already owned that. So instead, it was like my answer, actually, it was one of my better moments was I can't either. Right now, we're just dealing with the hurt from this. I get it. I'm hurt too, but it's different. And so it's how do you create room for I'm here for you with this hurt. I walk side. I like that. I like that a lot, rather than taking responsibility again, because I already did that. Right? Because a lot of times, if you think about it, honestly, a lot of times our apologies are largely just get me out of the spotlight. Let's make this thing go away. I don't want to deal with it anymore.

Pam Allan: So true.

Corey Allan: Isn't that a comment? That so true. I just want the tension to be gone.

Pam Allan: Well, I think the smart people recognize that that does get 'em out of it. And then you get the people who are just stubborn, and I'm not going to apologize for anything. What did I do? This is what I wanted to do. Not your problem.

Corey Allan: That's a whole nother show we need to do on that. It's

Pam Allan: A whole nother show. So at least the people here are saying, I recognize I did

Speaker 4: Something wrong and I need to apologize for it. Right. I've got a willingness to move on and go to the next level.

Corey Allan: But there is still a component of us that can be so underhanded that it's really about, I just want the spotlight off me. I just don't want this tension. I just don't want to have to face this anymore. I thought we addressed this and put it to bed, and

Speaker 4: Just wanting the spotlight off of me doesn't mean I'm intending at all to change my behavior.

Corey Allan: Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 4: So this has to go hand in hand,

Corey Allan: Right? Rather than, no, no, no. I'll honor the fact that you're hurt by this, so let's create room for it, but apologize for something.

Speaker 4: My guilt on a lot of the stuff was my default non-apology was, I'm sorry you feel that way. It's like, well, no, that's not really an apology. I

Corey Allan: Felt better because I said imm. Sorry. That's a sophisticated, get your act together, lady. Yeah,

Speaker 4: But I've learned through multiple sessions that it wasn't a real apology. I was trying to get myself out of a situation. I can own that. I'm sorry that my actions made you feel that way. That's more of a real apology. I'm sorry for what I contributed, but I can control what I did. I can't necessarily control

Corey Allan: How you can control a hundred percent of your 50 to what I did. Correct. Well, maybe you guys are better than me, but how do you keep track of all the apologies, the things that you've done? How do you keep track of, okay, help me realize. Apologize

Speaker 4: For everything. Keep score. Corey

Corey Allan: Can't keep. Hold on. But no, wait. This gets to a deeper level though. This gets into an element of what has gone on that you legitimately did that caused harm, that had impact in a negative way.

Corey Allan: Okay. I'm curious about your reaction to this here,

Speaker 4: Because

Corey Allan: You're listening.

Speaker 4: That question is key,

Corey Allan: But keep listening too, because this, keep going. No,

Speaker 4: Keeping track. Well, I want to keep listening.

Corey Allan: I want to keep going here, but I'm curious about how you feel about how I'm addressing this. Okay.

Speaker 4: Okay. So play.

Corey Allan: That's the stuff we apologize for. Something goes down, and I didn't live up to an expectation they had that I didn't know they had. Do I need to apologize for that? No. Right. Well, you're pointing out is the idea of, yeah, we all have slights of disappointments or frustrations because my wife didn't answer the door the way I hoped she would or didn't speak to me in a way. And it's like, hold on. Was that actually egregious, intentional, cruel, attacking of me that she needs to apologize for? No, it's living life in close proximity to somebody else that doesn't do life the way I do. I don't think we should apologize for that personally, but the times I have overstepped, I know if I have or not, but the other parts are just part of living close with each other, and we're going to get upset. We're going to piss each other off, and I don't think do much for that personally.

Corey Allan: What do you think?

Pam Allan: Yeah, I'm still noodling a little bit. I am in agreement that just because my expectations aren't met doesn't need to elicit an apology.

Corey Allan: Okay, good. From

Pam Allan: Someone else, because

Corey Allan: There will be some people that aren't going to agree with this.

Pam Allan: Well, yes. Well, because part of me that's thinking, huh? Would there be an apology? I can totally hear myself if I didn't meet one of your expectations saying, wow, I'm sorry I didn't live up to that, but not, I don't want someone to hear that and think you're being a doormat for, well, I better live up to your expectations. That's not the thought process here.

Corey Allan: In a second, it'll get clarified a little bit about how a lot of times the people please just apologize for things that aren't their responsibility,

Pam Allan: Which

Corey Allan: Then diminishes the real apologies when needed.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I think some of it is, gosh, I've been married to you 30 years now. You would think I would've known something like that about you. Right. And I'm sorry, I don't know you well enough yet to understand what that expectation was. You had. Maybe I need to be a better student of you, but then again, maybe not. I don't necessarily think that deserves an apology.

Corey Allan: Yeah, the word, sorry, apology is so interesting, isn't it? In this?

Pam Allan: Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so

Corey Allan: Let's wrap,

Pam Allan: Man. I wish I understood that better. Maybe let's

Corey Allan: Wrap up this part because there's a couple minutes left.

Corey Allan: Well, because you're just going to do it again. Well, it's just living with you. I'm not changing parts of me for your comfort here. Yeah, absolutely not All parts of me. This is kind of my personal journey with, I apologized for the fact that Pam had a bad day at work. That was my mo. I was the nice guy. I was the in there, done that. I'm so sorry that happened. Oh, and so then when I needed to actually give an apology, it didn't carry much. I was apologizing for the fact that the sun didn't come up. It was cloudy, so we couldn't see the sunrise. Oh, I'm so sorry. I could even do that. So it's just, I don't know. I lean more towards the, what's a better way to say that? That sucks. Yeah, it is. Oh, man, that sucks. That the day was rough.
Now I'm joining you in the feeling. I'm joining in the experience. I'm acknowledging it's real. That's good. Well, this has been the route you've had. You've kind of, if I remember the whole journey of the mastermind, you've gotten really good at this of recognizing I need to give space for it. It's real. I don't need to diminish it. And so some of that's just recognizing, yeah, some of this is just the iteration of working through the hurt, the fear, the unknown that, yeah, I get to where I feel a little more stable and comfortable, but it doesn't necessarily make that fear go away or resolve that hurt. Sometimes people just got to come to grips with, I got to let this go on my own. Someone else can't do it for me.

Corey Allan: I'm so impressed with these guys and how they wrestle through things.

Pam Allan: Fabulous conversation,

Corey Allan: Because this gets into the deeper concepts of what we all face to varying degrees and how we try to actually, my opinion professionally too, my opinion,

Pam Allan: We

Corey Allan: Try to avoid seeing what really is, because it just appears to make it easier for ourselves. I don't want to see my own culpability. And the depth of what really is when it comes into my existence in close proximity to you is going to be disruptive to you. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Pam Allan: I mean, I just keep thinking of it as iron sharpening iron.

Corey Allan: Exactly.

Pam Allan: And hopefully both sides see that super hard when one side's working on it and the other side's not.

Corey Allan: And so in the extended content, what we might end up doing is just unpack a little more of this between you, because you were taking a lot of notes during this, and let's talk more about it in detail. But we also could get into the depths of how do we really get good at the apology? So if you're not a member of the academy, join us there. And if you are, we'll see you in just a second as we wrap this one up. I'm not sure where this will land with people. This one's a little different than some of the shows we've done overall, because this gets out there in the theory, but I'm trying to make it to where it can be practical.

Pam Allan: Oh, I think it's practical.

Corey Allan: Good.

Pam Allan: Yeah, I think it's totally practical.

Corey Allan: But if it's not, please let us know. 2 1 4 7 0 2 9 5 6 5 or Because what we're really striving to have happen in marriages, this is what I want with Pam, is I want the full story with her to walk alongside on a deeper level with all that it entails. So transcripts were available on each of the episodes, as well as advertisers deals and discount codes. So please consider supporting those who support the show. So however, you took a little bit of time out of your day to spend it with us. Thank you, and we'll see you next day.